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Zealand hauls in $1B off obesity drug data; zeroes in on Series A’s

Today, a brief rundown of news from Zealand Pharma and Altimmune, as well as an update from AbbVie that you might have missed from earlier in the week.

Zealand Pharma on Tuesday priced a stock offering that’s expected to land the Danish biotechnology company $1 billion in proceeds. The offering, which should close on June 28, comes less than a week after the company disclosed encouraging early data for an obesity drug that works differently than market-leading medicines Wegovy and Zepbound. Shares have surged more than 33% since then. — Ben Fidler

The Food and Drug Administration has rejected an experimental AbbVie medicine for Parkinson’s disease for a second time, the drugmaker said Tuesday. The FDA didn’t cite any issues with the safety or effectiveness of the drug, dubbed ABBV-951, or ask the company to run any additional studies. The agency instead indicated problems during an inspection at a facility run by a third-party manufacturer, AbbVie said. —Delilah Alvarado

Venture capital firm has raised a new $380 million fund, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech investor said Wednesday. will direct a majority of the cash towards Series A rounds, where it can help startup companies generate proof-of-concept data. The firm launched in Feb. 2023 with a goal to “free the founders,” giving aspiring entrepreneurs more control over their startups. It has now raised almost $1 billion. — Gwendolyn Wu

Altimmune’s chief financial officer, Richard Eisenstadt, unexpectedly passed away on Monday. Eisenstadt’s duties are currently being handled by the company’s finance and accounting team until a replacement is found, according to Altimmune. “Rich was not only a brilliant and dedicated leader, but a close friend who brought a sense of wit and joy to our workplace that will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of working with him,” CEO Vipin Garg said in a statement Wednesday. — Delilah Alvarado

EvolutionaryScale, a new AI drug discovery startup, announced Tuesday it netted $142 million in seed funding from a group of investors including former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Lux Capital, Amazon and the venture capital arm of Nvidia. The New York-based biotechnology company launched with a generative AI tool it says can help scientists find new proteins for drug development. — Gwendolyn Wu